House GOP Spending Bill Would Require USPS To Keep Saturday Mail Delivery
A spending bill being put forward by House Republicans would force the Postal Service to keep Saturday mail delivery:
The new House GOP spending bill directs the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week, against the wishes of the nation’s postmaster general.
A House Appropriations aide confirmed that the spending measure, which would fund the rest of fiscal 2013 and avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, mandated that USPS continue six-day delivery.
Congress has used the appropriations process to force USPS, which has lost billions of dollars in recent years, to continue Saturday delivery for roughly three decades.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe had announced a plan last month to get rid of Saturday delivery of letters and other pieces of first-class mail in August, which the flailing agency said would save some $2 billion a year.
Under the plan, the Postal Service would continue to deliver packages, a growing part of their business, six days a week.
Postal officials have said that they believe they could move forward with their plan even if congressional appropriators did not remove the six-day delivery language.
But Donahoe has also urged lawmakers to get rid of any requirements for Saturday delivery, and has consistently pointed to polling that says people in the U.S. support the decision. USPS suffered close to a $16 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, and currently loses about $25 million a day.
“You don’t want the Postal Service to fail in this country. It’s my responsibility, and I’ve taken that responsibility to make sure that we do everything in our power,” Donahoe told the Senate Homeland Security Committee last month.
“And I’m imploring Congress, please do not force us back into a six-day window. Let us make the move in August.”
As I’ve said before, it strikes me as largely ridiculous that the USPS needs to get Congressional permission to make what are, in the end, ordinary business decision. The Postal Service is in this bizarre position where it’s no longer a Federal Government enterprise per se, but where it’s under the significant control of Congress for every ranging from what it names its postal facility to business decisions like whether to cut back on Saturday delivery. Indeed, one can argue that many of the problems the service faces today are due to Congressional interference. Perhaps it’s time to cut the cord.